AP — The owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, accepted Israel’s prestigious Genesis Prize at a lavish ceremony on Thursday, where he pledged $20 million to establish a foundation dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel.
In his keynote address, Kraft told the audience of Israeli and international dignitaries that he was “humbled and blessed” to accept the award, vowing that his new foundation would seek to tackle the rising tide of anti-Semitic vitriol online.
“I believe we can use this platform of social media to make a genuine and lasting impact on the rising tide of hate,” he said, “especially against our people.”
The feting and ritzy ceremony in his honor in Jerusalem offered Kraft a welcome reprieve just four months after he was charged with soliciting a prostitute at a Florida massage parlor. The 78-year-old billionaire businessman has vigorously battled the charges, and the case against him appears to be crumbling. He has pleaded innocent but also issued a written apology, expressing sorrow for hurting his family, friends and fans.
Still, the embarrassing affair failed to tarnish the celebration of Kraft, a longtime supporter of Jewish and Israeli causes.
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